The SITE Intelligence Group said that the image, showing a ruined Capitol Building in Washington, was created by extremists as part of discussions about the feasibility of nuclear strikes against the US and Britain.
The images appeared in a video, called Nuclear Jihad: The Ultimate Terror, posted on two password-protected websites, al-Ekhlass and al-Hesbah, believed to be affiliated with al-Qa’eda.
SITE also released translated several chatroom threads from al-Ekhlass and al-Hesbah, discussing the possibility of nuclear attacks on the West.
However, it has transpired that far from being a detailed simulation created by terrorist masterminds, the apocalyptic vision is in fact lifted from the computer game Fallout 3, by US game designers Bethesda Softworks.
The game bills itself as “America’s first choice in post-nuclear simulation”, with players roaming a ruined landscape some time after a nuclear war in 2077.
It’s interesting how quickly the Telegraph.co.uk pulled this article without any explanation or amendment. Maybe someone put pressure on them? Whatever the reason it was pulled, thanks to the reader who spotted it and sent it in. Ed.